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I have been sexually abused and find it hard to feel desire. Wil this pass over time?

Yes. Everyone can have a healthy sex life, even after abuse. You may need professional help to come to terms with your experiences, so find a specialist you feel comfortable with, who will be able to listen to your worries and help you move on.
Women who have been abused often feel guilty, dirty and ashamed. Instead of directing their anger towards the abuser, they turn it in on themselves, developing low self-esteem and feelings of self-hate. It is very important to seek help if you have any of these feelings and to talk to someone who can help you to feel better about yourself. Sadly, your brain is likely to associate sexual contact with the abuse you have suffered.

You may find some of these suggestions helpful :

- Make your body your own again and learn to love it. Pamper it with bubble baths or relaxing treatements.
- Give yourself a massage whilst applying body lotion to familiarise yourself with your body, touch is very soothing.
Stand naked in front of a mirror and see how beautiful you are!
- Feel like a woman, buy some pretty underwear that feels good on your skin to make yourself feel feminine again, or try stockings and supenders.
- Masturbate, concentrating on the pleasure it gives you. Do not feel guilty, this is what your body is for. Try visualising yourself having sex at the same time, to create a link in your mind between sexuality and pleasure.
- Avoid or get out of any relationship where your partner humiliates you, or makes you feel ashamed or bad in any way. Respect yourself and other people will, too.
- During sex, only do what you feel comfortable with. You never have to do anything you don't want to.

Remember that your body belongs to you and nobody else has the right to abuse it, or even touch it if you don't want them to.

Maude Julien, Sex Therapist

Latest… 20/04/2014
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